One of the keys to developing strong organisational strategies is deciding what you will not do. This was a little like the challenge I faced this morning, with too many options and only one pair of legs. Except that I didn’t really feel like doing any of them.
It was a sunny day and that’s great for running from my folks’ place, but I didn’t feel like driving anywhere. The Beacon is also a great place to run to when the sun is shining, but after a week of feeling listless, I didn’t have the energy. It would have been very easy to run on the machine, but the sun was streaming into the house, which would have made for a hot run and also made me feel guilty at not being outside in the fresh air.
So the choice came down to either a road run, or an off-road run, the former winning, but in a half-hearted, lackadaisical way. I set off into the sunny day wearing three layers under my jacket, two hats and a pair of gloves… which is a lot of gear and reflects the iciness of the temperature out of the sun.
Within a mile I was struggling, physically and mentally… my energy was absent and my sub-conscious was exerting strong pressure to turn around and go back. I managed to stagger on, having the same internal dialogue several times before I had even reached three miles.
Ironically, maybe the chief reason for continuing was to deny my sub-conscious the upper hand… I’ve been writing about the subconscious in my slowly growing manuscript this week and have invoked irritating old habits in the process, so I didn’t want to give it any more latitude than I had to.
Runners are often tired, but that tiredness takes many different forms… this wasn’t heavy legs, or inability to breathe, but rather more of a general reluctance, but I soldiered on.
It wasn’t even that my mind was elsewhere, working on an interesting challenge… instead it was clattering, like having engaged a false-neutral in an old gearbox. Not in any particular gear, but making a great deal of noise about it. It’s useful for my work to allow these brain patterns to play out sometimes, besides which I lacked the motivation to do anything else.
I reached the five-mile mark in 48 minutes and ran back even more slowly. I had taken my jacket off on the outbound journey, the sun in my face and the wind behind, but now the temperature dropped palpably as I ran back into the wind so the jacket went straight back on!
The rest of the run back was… well, I think that you probably get the picture, so I’ll save you the effort of reading about the effort and instead cut to the chase… 10 miles in 98 minutes, 6.1 mph.
Of course, there is always good value in celebrating the successful execution of a strategy that you did choose… which in this case was really about running and writing, rather than vegetating! Well done Foster!
Now, where’s that sofa?
PS. Congratulations to Clive in the Brighton Half Marathon… 123 minutes is very respectable for an old bloke like you!
Oh to be the youngest in the school year!